Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. The heart's job is to supply blood to the rest of the body, so when it cannot work well, fluid is retained in organs and there is an insufficient blood supply.
The heart is like a pump trying to get water out of a flooded area, sending the water to other areas that need it. The retained fluid causes swelling in the legs, but some people might experience swelling in other areas such as the stomach or the liver. Some have too much water in their lungs, so they cannot breathe well. When organs do not get enough fluid, the hands and feet feel cold and the face looks pale. If the liver and kidneys don't get enough fluid, they can fail.
Therefore, in treating a patient with heart failure we must look at the root cause. More importantly, fluid levels must balance. Body fluid levels are partly due to the fluids and sodium we consume each day. Sodium makes the body retain more water.
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